4 feet 2 mouths

walking and eating our way around the world

Archive for the tag “New York”

Death & Spirits from West to East Village (by Carmen)

Nathan and I as Los Muertos

Nathan and I as Los Muertos

Halloween is a big holiday for New Yorkers. Bars and restaurants become enshrined in fake cobwebs. Dogs dressed as tarantulas or pirates or ballerinas are proudly paraded by owners. Ghost tours and haunted houses come forth to celebrate all things macabre, gorey, creepy and/or scream worthy.

West Village Halloween parade

West Village Halloween parade

To fully celebrate, Nathan, Brenda, Drew and I decided to join the thick of Halloween craziness, which centers on the West Village. Each year, a parade takes over 6th Avenue in which anyone in costume can join. I love the spontaneous, convivial nature of it all. It’s very New York. Nathan and I went all out dressing as Mexican calaveras (sugar skulls), sweets traditionally served around this time.

 

Merchant House in mourning

Merchant House in mourning

Washington Square arch, built on a former cemetery

Washington Square arch, built on a former cemetery

What’s Halloween without a little scare factor in it? The best spooky experiences are the ones where there is a grain of truth which is how we found ourselves at a candle lit funeral from the 1800s. The Merchant House Museum is in our Noho neighborhood and its history has always intrigued me. About 6 different ghosts have been sighted within its walls. Not only was the candlelit ghost tour the appropriate amount of creepy, the walking tour gave me new insights about my neighborhood. The grisly Bond Street murder, Edgar Allen Poe’s favorite bar (now occupied by Il Buco Alimentari), and the fact that the Washington Square was once a cemetery and still has 20,000 unexhumed bodies buried there were all news to me.

St. Marks in the Bowery steeple

St. Marks in the Bowery steeple

Dia de los Muertos altar

Dia de los Muertos altar

Al pastor tacos

Al pastor tacos

In the days following Halloween, we visited the East Village to view the Day of the Dead altar at Stuyvesant Square. Hosted in the shadow of the historic Church of St. Marks in the Bowery, the altar and food stands were sprinkled among grave stones from the early 1800s. It’s hard to imagine the same square at that time, when the church was surrounded by farmland and stately homes. Though we had just eaten lunch, we made room for a delicious al pastor taco. Looking forward to many more of those in our upcoming Mexico vacation!

Manhattan-henge (by Carmen)

Empire State Building + Manhattan-henge!

Empire State Building + Manhattan-henge!

Twice a year thousands of people collect on the main east-west arterials of New York City to worship the sun. Or at least take a million pictures of the sun as it sets exactly aligned with the city’s street grid. The event known as Manhattan-henge occurs approximately 25 days before and after the summer solstice. Nathan and I were one of the revelers on a spontaneous Friday night out in our adopted city.  This year, Manhattan-henge fell on July 11, which, happened to be a Friday!

Astor Wine & Spirits - our local booze source

Astor Wine & Spirits – our local booze source

Friday nights are always my favorite. It generally starts with a stop at Astor Wine & Spirits, our local wine shop. Most days of the week, Astor offers generous samples from the abundant collection. We’ve tasted wines from around the world – even a $250 Cristal Champagne! In addition to wine we’ve had smokey whiskeys, peaty scotches, grilled corn infused mescal…all at no charge. It’s quite possibly the perfect wine shop. If only NY liquor laws allowed them to sell beer they’d be unstoppable.

Yay for bikesharing!

Yay for bikesharing!

After our tasting we decided that midtown would offer us the best Manhattan-henge viewing. We hopped on a citibike and cycled our way up to 34th street. I LOVE citibike. Combined with the bike lanes that are being added throughout the city, I’ve always felt safe biking in New York. And it’s just fun to feel the breeze through your hair.

Sun worshipers

Sun worshipers

Almost there...

Almost there…

Sun down

Sun down

We finally made it to 34th Street with about 15 minutes until sunset. A cluster of tourists were already excitedly taking photos. We joined in the fun and pretended to be tourists ourselves by loudly talking about how much fun Times Square is (note: no locals say anything good about Times Square). I enjoyed watching the crowds as much as the sun. Because the best view is in the middle of the street, everyone waited for the light to change and then ran to the middle to snap away. Then the cars would honk and everyone ran back.

Japchae close up at Woorijip

Japchae close up at Woorijip

As the sun dipped below the horizon the throngs thinned quickly. We decided to take advantage of being near K-town and walked a whole three blocks to the pulsing, neon-lit stretch of Korean BBQ restaurants and karaoke bars. We just wanted a snack so made our way to Woorijip, a fast moving cafe with grab and go Korean food. I can never have enough japchae (stir-fried sweet potato noodles) or kimchi in my life. Not everything’s a winner here – go for things labeled “spicy” for the best experience.

Van Leeuwan sundae

Van Leeuwan sundae

Satiated, we took a quick subway ride back to East Village and remembered our PayPal deal. PayPal is eager for people to forget about those old fashioned things called credit cards and instead use their phone to make payments. They’ll even pay you to do it. So far, Nathan and I estimate that we’ve taken advantage of $500 of PayPal incentives. Sometimes the businesses that have offers aren’t worth it even with the discount but we’ve also found some real gems. When a deal comes up for a place we wanted to try anyway, all the better. Such was the case with Van Leeuwan ice cream shop. We bought a classic sundae to share with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, bittersweet hot fudge, walnuts, fresh whipped cream and house preserved cherries on top.

I originally set out to write a quick post about the phenomenon of Manhattan-henge. But as I thought back to the that night, I recalled all the other spontaneous activities surrounding the sunset that only seems possible in a place like New York. The city so seamlessly brings together a number of perks – easy access by bike and subway, the proximity of diverse neighborhoods, the many, many freebies. I remember feeling impressed by the novelty of all this when I was a tourist a few years ago. Now this is just another Friday night in NYC.

What the Hurricane Left Behind (by Carmen)

Historic South Street Seaport

Historic South Street Seaport

As part of our hunt for a NYC apartment to call home, Nathan and I had to find a temporary sublet. Since it was only for 6 weeks, we were willing to live almost anywhere. It was only by chance that we ended up subletting in a hidden corner of Manhattan called South Street Seaport.

Looking out to the Financial District from South Street Seaport with views of the World Trade Center and 8 Spruce Street Tower

Looking out to the Financial District from South Street Seaport with views of the World Trade Center and 8 Spruce Street Tower

South Street Seaport is bordered on the north by the hulking Brooklyn Bridge, to the east by water, and to the west and south by the glossy high rises of the financial district. Originally, the area was developed on filled land as a port, with two wide boat slips to load and unload trade ships. Seafood became a specialty and the Fulton Fish Market opened in 1822 and continued to operate until 2005. In Europe, this would not be noteworthy but in America that is an amazingly long time! The fish market, the second biggest in the world after Tsukiji in Tokyo, was moved to a modern facility in the Bronx.

The masts of the Peking sail ship, part of the South Street Seaport Museum

The masts of the Peking sail ship, part of the South Street Seaport Museum

The long history of the neighborhood envelopes you. It is visible in the 1800’s architecture (some decorated with sea life motifs) and the historic sail and steam boats bobbing in the water (part of the South Street Seaport Museum). On a tour of the 1930 Peking sailboat, we learned about the typical sailor’s life. Let’s just say rough would be an understatement. It’s no wonder they couldn’t wait to get ashore and patronize the bars and bawdy nightlife of the South Street Seaport – a tradition carried on in some ways by bars like Jeremy’s Ale House and Paris Cafe.

My sublet's street flooded during Hurricane Sandy (source: kidscreen.com)

My sublet’s street flooded during Hurricane Sandy (source: kidscreen.com)

In a city like New York, it’s no surprise that developers want to capitalize on the area’s unique character. There are plans in the works to turn this area into a luxury shopping mall and condos. The community opposition has already mobilized but Hurricane Sandy certainly crippled their stance.

The effects of Hurricane Sandy were spread unevenly across NYC. For some, it simply felt like a huge storm. Others experienced major flooding, power outages and wind damage that ruined homes and businesses. Forty-three New Yorkers lost their lives. Since it’s on fill, South Street Seaport succumbed to flooding with disastrous results. With the major repair costs, many of the shops and restaurants found it difficult to reopen at all. Over a year later there are still plenty of empty storefronts awaiting new tenants/development.

Pasanella & Sons tasting room (source: Mimi and Meg)

Pasanella & Sons tasting room (source: Mimi and Meg)

Of the independent businesses that have returned, one of my favorites is Made Fresh Daily. This cheery café doesn’t win any awards for the best coffee or the most avant garde food. Instead, it makes simple pastries and lunches in a comfortable setting. For me, the best part is their collection of magazines free to read in the café. I typically grab a tea, a few ‘zines and camp out. And because the neighborhood is so peaceful, I don’t have 20 customers eyeing me for my seat. It can be full but is never overly crowded. In NYC, that’s saying something.

Another great shop is Pasanella & Sons. This small wine shop has knowledgeable staff and a beautiful brick tasting room in the back where they hold events. Since we lived there in October, we got to attend a great hard cider event where the drinks ranged from dry and fizzy to pungent and sour.

The Village FIshmonger at New Amsterdam Market

The Village FIshmonger at New Amsterdam Market

The New Amsterdam Market meets outside the old Fulton Fish Market building. A weekly market before the hurricane, it has since become a monthly one. The market sells more specialty goods than everyday groceries (think cheese, honey, sausage, etc.) and it is all of high quality. I particularly enjoyed the extremely fresh Village Fishmonger stand, which is a CSF (community-supported fishery) that I’m tempted to join.

Filming The Knick in South Street Seaport

Filming The Knick in South Street Seaport

A fruit & veg stand in "old" New York

A fruit & veg stand in “old” New York

My view of the filming from Made Fresh Daily cafe

My view of the filming from Made Fresh Daily cafe

The hidden, historic atmosphere of South Street Seaport makes it ripe for filming. It was quite entertaining to exit my building one night and find Law & Order: SVU filming across the street. A few weeks later, I come out to find a different film shoot had transformed the block next to mine into turn of the 20th century New York! In order to film for The Knick (which basically looks like Grey’s Anatomy set in the early 1900s), they brought in horse-drawn carts, new store awnings, a few vegetable carts and dozens of people in period costumes. As I drank my tea at Made Fresh Daily that morning, I was able to watch Victorian era NYC pass me by through the window.

View from our sublet’s rooftop

View from our sublet’s rooftop

While subletting drew out the moving process, I treasure my stay in this peaceful little neighborhood that makes me feel like I stepped back in time. It became one of the first steps in making NYC feel like home.

The Great New York Apartment Hunt (by Carmen)

We packed our bags yet again but this time it was more than just our backpacks. It was early fall and we were getting ready for the big move from Los Angeles to New York City. While our stuff was piled into a moving pod to be shipped across the country Nathan and I boarded our one-way flight to the East Coast. Upon arriving to the city, we dove headfirst into Craigslist ads with the goal of finding our new home within a week. Thus began the Great Apartment Hunt.

We sought out rentals high and low

We sought out rentals high and low

Finding an apartment can be equal parts exciting and anxiety-inducing. In New York, however, the latter wins out as the city is overrun with brokers who charge nearly 2 months’ rent for the doing the same thing you can do on your own with Craigslist. Given the high price of apartments already, this is an astronomically high sum for the amount of work they’re theoretically saving you. To make matters worse, brokers flood Craigslist and other free listing sites with fake ads so that you will call their company and they can try to get your business. It all makes for an extremely frustrating process for those without a ton of cash to burn. Despite the obstacles, we decided to do our best to sidestep the broker system and find something on our own.

Intricate balcony in the Lower East Side

Intricate balcony we saw during our apartment walk in the Lower East Side

Russ & Daughters to fuel our search.

Russ & Daughters to fuel our search.

Our experience started on a beautiful sunny day walking around the Lower East Side. As we meandered we called every “For Rent” sign phone number we stumbled upon. We would stop for coffee or a bagel at Russ & Daughters and scour Craigslist and other apartment listing sites from our phones. And we got exactly nowhere. No one we called had a one bedroom available and some said they only went through brokers. We felt broken by the broker system.

We broadened our search to include Brooklyn brownstones.

We broadened our search to include Brooklyn brownstones.

We knew we had change up our strategy so we broadened our search area to more neighborhoods and Manhattan and even across the East River to Brooklyn but to no avail. Finally, we gave in and called some brokers. The initial excitement of access to more listings was soon tempered when they showed us places that were extremely small, dark, poorly maintained and/or expensive. Some of the worst things we saw included a floor so uneven you had to walk uphill just to cross the living room, a kitchen with a broken stove that they simply placed a hot plate on top of to “fix,” and an extremely filthy apartment featuring a giant bong in the bathtub. I’m sure that worse exists in NYC but I couldn’t believe the asking prices of these places.  Our dreams of living in Manhattan were looking a little hopeless.

The entrance of a potential rental...home sweet home?

The entrance of a potential rental…home sweet home?

This bedroom might actually fit a bed.

This bedroom might actually fit a bed.

Then the holy grail appeared! After three weeks of couch hopping I was doing my morning Craigslist search when a post came up too good to be true – perfect neighborhood near tons of transit lines, nice light in the living area (as opposed to only in the bedroom like most places we’d seen), an open and spacious (by NYC standards) kitchen, UNDER budget and, best of all, no broker! How could it be? Nathan was suspicious, even after we met with the tenants to discuss the transition. But it actually all worked out…except for one tiny, little catch – we couldn’t move in until Thanksgiving which was still six weeks away. Thus began the Great Sublet Hunt. :)

Sweet success in the form of our cozy apartment

Sweet success in the form of our cozy apartment

We eventually did find a sublet (which was in a great neighborhood I’ll post about soon).  At the end of November we moved all our earthly belongings to our tiny corner of NYC to call home. Over the past four months we’ve thoroughly enjoyed exploring our new neighborhood. I really can’t imagine being anywhere else right now.

New Year, New York (by Carmen)

I heart NY from the Lower East Side

I heart NY from the Lower East Side

We have some catching up to do, but where to start? Our summer in LA? Our quick trip to Portland? Those will come. But for now I’m going to fast forward to today, New Year’s Eve.

For me New Year’s eve is a time of renewal and reflection. Looking back over the past year, Nathan and I took on a lot of “new” – new countries, foods, people, scenery, cultures…even a new marital status! I will forever be grateful for these experiences because I was able to learn more about the world and myself. But this year it was time to set down roots somewhere. While deciding where wasn’t an easy choice we finally did make a decision this past fall – New York!

New York is aptly named as it’s an endless stream of new. New shops and cafes are constantly opening. Little hole in the wall restaurants to expose you to new cultures and cuisines. Snow blanketing the streets and trees every so often making it feel like a new white city, a blank slate on which you can write your own story. It’s our kind of town.

So this is a quick post to say that yes, new posts will be coming ;) We’ve got a lot of exploring to do on the East Coast and, of course, right here in New York.

New York
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do
Now you’re in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let’s hear it for New York

– Alicia Keys

A bright and shiny New York

A bright and shiny New York

Putting the Fork to the Pork in New York (by Nathan)

Did you hear that? Of course you didn’t, my stomach just grumbled.  And my stomach always grumbles at the thought of New York City.  If you have not eaten yet, then I suggest grabbing a snack because our recent trip to New York had the objective of FOOD.  New York has it all: wonderful international restaurants, majestic sights and an accessible urban landscape; there is everything to satisfy any insatiable appetite.

All this walking around is hard work and all this eating takes some serious coordination.  Our first trip to New York made a minor dent into a long list of places we wanted to try.  This trip we needed progress, so Carmen got to work weeks ahead to make a map of all the restaurants.  The days were planned to visit the sights nearest the places we wanted to eat, simple right?  To make this trip successful we needed to create more meals, and thus, the addition of “pre” and “li” into our vocabulary.  For example, preakfast=pre-breakfast and linner=late dinner.

Brooklyn Bridge

As a repeat of our last trip we stayed with our good friends Taylor and Andrew in Brooklyn.  Their apartment is perfectly placed between multiple subway lines and the Brooklyn Bridge is just a jog away.  They are amazing hosts are an enticing reason for Carmen and I to Move to New York after the trip.       

Court Street Bagels

The classic New York Bagel is an essential start to any day.  The bagels are pillowy and bulbous and the typical shop has an overwhelming number of spreads to choose from.  We grabbed a few for preakfast on our early morning arrival.  I am still of the opinion that Montreal has the best bagels that are baked over a fire and served to you crispy and hot. But to avoid a fist fight I held my lips tight.

Doughnut Plant’s PB&J, Banana Cream, Blueberry and Crème Brûlée

The lower east-side of Manhattan contains a plethora, yes, a plethora of restaurants.  We find ourselves in this area for meals and drinks throughout all hours of the day and night.  For breakfast we hopped over to Doughnut Plant.  We ordered up peanut butter glazed and boysenberry jam filled square monster and a few smaller delights.  A few blocks away was BabyCakes, the unmatched delicious and vegan bakery.  We had to visit it on a separate morning.

Magnolia Cupcakes

For lickfast (late-breakfast or lick-fest) a few cupcakes are essential.  Time it right and a trip to Magnolia Bakery is smooth like frosting.  Time it wrong and the packed  counter is a scene of elbow-throwing cupcake-grabbing madness.  Unscarred, we made it out with some treats to bring back to Brooklyn.

Best Street: Kati Roll, Bao-B-Q and Mamoun’s Mabrumeh + Falafel

Walk to the east and there exists the best street in Manhattan!  MacDougal between 3rd and Bleeker in Greenwich Village has everything and more so arrive hungry.  We came here on our last trip because of a recommendation from our friend Manish.  The food is so good that it was the first stop on the agenda when we arrived in New York.  First off there is Mamoun’s Falafel dishing out pita falafel sandwiches for $2.50.  A few doors down is a hopping NYC pizza joint named Artichoke; further on Kati Roll assembles phenomenal street wraps.  Across the street Bao-B-Q puts together a sweet and spicy pork sandwich on a steamed bun.  I am sure there other delicious restaurants within five steps in any direction, but we were excessively full and needed to waddle our way to another area of Manhattan.

Carmen relaxing on High Line Park

A beautiful day from High Line Park

Typically, we then walk of our large prunch from MacDougal St. at High Line Park.  I say “typically” because I have successfully accomplished this twice.  High Line Park is one of the perfect gems of New York City.  The abandoned elevated rail line was converted into a meandering vibrant pathway for strolling, people watching and enjoying the fresh air.  We walked through the flower gardens; we stopped to relax, talk and gaze out into New York’s colorful architecture.

Szechuan Gourmet

One thing that I loved about China, and a reason why I am going back, is the food.  The cuisines across China vary as much as those across Europe and Sichuan Chinese food is the cuisine that most tingles my tongue.  The food is smoky and spicy and they use small peppercorns that physically numb the tongue and mouth.  Since we were feeling snacking, our love of those flavors brought us to Szechuan Gourmet.  We ordered two classics – dan dan noodles and home-style tofu.  We left the restaurant with our mouths still sizzling and a deeper craving to travel to Asia.

BBQ Pork Belly Bun at Momufuku

An essential restaurant for every visit to New York is Momufuku.  There are three different Momofukus, try them all, but do not escape without eating in at least one.  The Korean fusion fare is succulent and bursting with flavors no matter what is ordered.  This time we went to Ssam Bar.  We ordered up an array of deliciously simple roasted pork belly buns and spicy noodles.  The juices subtly squirt out with each bite and the indulgence is completed with a sucking of the fingertips.

Statue of liberty from Staten Island ferry

Hundred year old house of my grandparents

We did see more than just restaurants.  Alongside thousands of other tourists we boarded the Staten Island ferry.  We said our “hellos” to the statue of liberty and grabbed a bus to get us into the interior part of the island.  Walking through the historic neighborhoods we found the house where my mom was born.  It is fun being in a place where my relatives played in the streets.  I imagine my grandparents, whom I never met, and their little German community sixty years ago.

Nathan enjoying a “cococone”

New York is hot in the summertime, ice cream is cold.  And what is cool is a saucy man driving around in his big gay ice cream truck.  We first heard about this truck while at a street food convention in San Francisco.  The owner described how and why he started his business and when in New York we had to try some.  He serves up basic soft serve with a twist.  He creates his own toppings, such as salted caramel then dipped in chocolate or wasabi pea dust.  We ordered a toasted curried coconut, a unique flavor combination with soft serve but it really worked.

Spaniards frolicking in the fountain

We slipped into a bar for drinks and the final match of the Euro Cup.  Hundreds of Spaniards and hispanophiles descended onto Washington Square to jump cheer and celebrate in the fountain.

$3.50 at Prosperity Dumpling

For prinner we headed to a dumpling shop in Chinatown.  At Prosperity Dumpling we ordered pork and chive pan-fried dumplings and veggie soup dumplings.  We made the mistake thinking that the dumplings would be Shanghai style, with soup inside, but in fact they arrived to us in a soup broth.  At $2 for 10, this restaurant turns out thousands of these delicious pot stickers.

Xi’an Famous Foods

Dinnertime: a few blocks away is a restaurant that we had to return to for a 2nd meal.  Xi’an Famous Foods serves Muslim Chinese food.  They hand-pull all their noodles and their cumin-rich lamb burger is exceptional.

Pudding at Rice to Riches

Everything you can imagine exists in New York.  Case in point: a restaurant that only makes rice pudding.  There are twenty-five flavors, toppings and cheeky quotes that make up a fun atmosphere. Next time you are in New York try Rice to Riches and as stated on the wall “order the large, you are fat anyway!”

Reuben at Katz’s Deli

Next we strolled over to an institution that has perfected the pastrami sandwich.  Yes, Katz’s Deli smokes and carves a meat that is really special and celebrated by the world.  This trip we ordered it as a Reuben that adds Swiss cheese and sauerkraut to an already great thing.  The sandwich is huge, bring a friend and split it.

Spicy Totto Ramen

Still hungry?  Ramen is the perfect late night supper.  Toto Ramen served up a spicy and rich broth that is some of the best we have ever had.  The wait was well over an hour, but worth it.

Typical eye-pleasing NYC street

One thing that every tourist can agree on in New York is that there is too much to do.  There are many sights and neighborhoods to explore.  A day can be filled wondering the streets and peeking around the brick and mortar buildings.  Every block has something special to see and every building has character and history to its presence.    New York is calling us, inviting us to live and explore more intimately, but now is a time for travel.  Goodbye NYC until next time.

Carmen and Nathan at Clove Lake Park

(Note: Ok, we didn’t actually consume all of these dishes in one day – it took about a week! But what an epic day that would be. Talk about food coma)

Remembering NYC 2011 (by Carmen)

Chrysler Building

I had to go back to New York City.  After having visited many of the major cities of Europe and Asia, it was a shame to have missed out on New York.  So last August, Nathan and I made time to visit friends and family there. And it was awesome.  This post is about remembering the good times we had last year and naming the reasons why we simply had to return during our year off.

Grand Central Station

Beautiful Brooklyn Bridge by night

First of all, there’s the transportation.  Most of the United States is fully reliant on their cars to get anywhere.  But NYC is one of the few places where transit takes over.  It’s wonderful to see the diversity of people on the subway and buses. Another great thing is that all of these people are unafraid to walk.  In the US people generally don’t like walking more than 5-8 minutes to get anywhere.  New Yorkers walk for miles, and quickly too. Nathan was loving the famously fast pace of New York sidewalks – which is really what he considers to be his relaxed stroll.  Together we joined the walking masses, from Lower Manhattan to Midtown, from Chelsea to Lower East Side.  One of our favorite walks, though, is across the Brooklyn Bridge.

A classic lox bagel

Awesome burger at Prune

Handmade noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods

Nathan enjoying his paleta at High Line Park

Then there’s the delicious food.  New York is known for having any cuisine you can imagine being served within its limits.  We hit just a small sampling of its restaurants and street snacks.  Some of the best eats are highlighted in these pictures: 1) a lox bagel at Russ and Daughters, which Anthony Bourdain recommended as an absolute must try in New York (we agree); 2) a perfectly cooked burger and sandwich at Prune, owned by the author of the great memoir Blood, Bones and Butter; 3) eastern Chinese style handmade noodles in a spicy beef broth at Xi’an Famous Foods; 4) Nathan relaxing with his mango and chile paleta (popsicle)  served by the La Newyorkina in High Line Park.  There were many more great things we ate but we knew we were only scratching the surface.

Times Square at dawn

Car free Park Avenue on a Summer Streets day

Flatiron Building – one of Nathan’s favorites

And, of course, the architecture was everything we hoped for.  The famous high rises stacked against one another.  This density of brick, iron and cement opens up into little breathing pockets in the vibrant plazas and parks dotted around the city.  Every other block had some interesting building to look at.

The new $10 bill

On top of all that, New York offers a ton of cultural experiences – music, theater, galleries, museums. On this trip, Nathan and I took advantage of the museums with visits to the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the American Indian, and even small exhibits such as that of Trinity Church on Wall Street.  At the last one, they had this ten dollar bill cut out that Nathan proudly took his portrait with.  This picture just hit my funny bone.  I could not stop laughing!  So much so that the security guard came over to check things out.  It still makes me giggle – I think it’s the ‘stache : )

Andrew and Taylor showing us Central Park

Sheep Meadow in Central Park

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park

Biding time during a tough game of Settlers of Catan

But the best part about New York is the friends and family who live there and welcome us with open arms.  Andrew and Taylor showed us such a great time with a walk though Central Park, drinks at cool bars and chill nights in playing boardgames.  The trip would not have been the same without them!

Coney Island

Me and Adri on High Line Park

And my dear cousin Adri, who is teaching while getting her master’s degree (wow!) was game enough to travel all the way to Coney Island to dip our toes in the water and eat Russian dumplings.  She even shared her mango flower she bought on the boardwalk.  That’s love.

the bottom line

So what I’m really trying to say here is that last summer Nathan and I joined the millions in saying, “I ♥ NY.”  We couldn’t resist a second trip, which Nathan will cover in the next post.

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